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Phyllis Grupe and President Eibeck

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Pacific president honored with ATHENA award for service to the region

Sep 9, 2015

University of the Pacific President Pamela A. Eibeck is a 2015 recipient of a regional ATHENA Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals for their professional excellence, community service and for actively helping women to attain professional excellence and leadership skills.

 About 30 leaders and supporters from the Stockton community and Pacific gathered Wednesday outside the president's office to join in the surprise announcement of her award from the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce.

As Eibeck emerged from her office to cheers and raised glasses from the group, she had just one word: "Wow!"

"It was easy to do," said Kathleen Lagorio Janssen, the chair of Pacific's Board of Regents and a past ATHENA award recipient who wrote the nomination for Eibeck.

"This is an incredible group of women to be a part of," Eibeck said. "This speaks to the huge impact you can have when talented women come together."

"I am truly honored to be among these women who have made such a difference in this remarkable region," said Eibeck, who highlighted the upcoming Advancing Women's Leadership forum featuring keynote speaker Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as an example.

The university in October will be home to the event that is designed to promote and showcase women leaders and to cultivate future leaders. Organizers say they want the event to transform the community by inspiring and empowering youth and adults alike. The first Advancing Women's Leadership forum in March 2013 featured former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

President Eibeck being surprised in her office

"Pam is a pillar for our community," the chamber said in a press release. "(She) has been transforming California's oldest chartered university into a dynamic, 21st century university offering high-quality, distinctive academic programs in Stockton, San Francisco, Sacramento and beyond."

Among Eibeck's accomplishments, the chamber noted how she has helped Pacific connect with its communities through the Beyond our Gates program; developed a bold strategic plan, Pacific 2020; opened a new campus location in San Francisco; launched new academic programs in Sacramento and San Francisco; and reinvigorated Pacific's athletic programs.

Eibeck, Pacific's first woman president, began her career as a mechanical engineering professor. The chamber also highlighted her career advocacy of women in STEM fields, noting that at UC Berkeley, Eibeck was one of just five women on an engineering faculty of 300.

Other members of the Pacific community who have received ATHENA honors include Jennifer Torres Siders, Pacific's community relations manager who won last year's ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award; Judith Chambers, an alumna and the former Vice President of Student Life; alumnae Marian Jacobs and Kristen Spracher Birtwhistle; Judge Connie Callahan, a Pacific Regent and alumna; and Dea Berberian, a former Pacific Regent.

The chamber also announced that it has selected Brenna Butler Garcia, chief executive officer of the San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, for the 2015 regional ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award. The awards will be presented at an annual ATHENA Awards Luncheon on Nov. 19 at the Stockton Golf and Country Club.  Tickets are available by calling the Greater Stockton Chamber of Commerce at 209.547.2770.

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